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Ballet Talk for Dancers

1st Pointe class


jane s

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Hi!

 

I had my first pointe class last night (well, 10 mins at the end of my regular 1-hour class, anyway) - & that felt like plenty for the first time.

 

Anyway I ended up with "Glisse" shoes - does anyone know them? This is because my feet are very narrow at the heel but wider at the toes & they were the only ones that fitted me in the shop apart from Gaynor Mindens & the lady said those were not a good idea for my 1st pair.

 

It was really embarrassing being fitted in the middle of the shop with kids wandering in & out, especially when she tried to get me to stand on pointe holding on a shelf & I couldn't do it (because the shoes started to slip off my heels). In the end she tied ribbon over them so I could go up.

 

And as for sewing on the ribbons - what a nightmare! It took me, my mum & my dad (who were visiting for the weekend) ages to suss it out!

 

Anyway, we got there in the end; of course, when it got to the class, I didn't do them up right so my teacher told one of the senior girls to help me, & then show me the beginning exercises & how to break my shoes in.

 

I was expecting it to hurt - and it did. A lot! I kept getting cramp in my feet, and the blocks were really hard. However, I mastered the rises & "cycling" & when my teacher saw me at the end she was really shocked - she said in amazement that I had really nice feet! (The lady in the shop had said that as well.)

 

Can't see me getting in the centre for ages (if ever) but I certainly don't plan on giving up after 3 classes like the last lady did, either. My teacher said it will help me get my knees straight if I carry on, & I can already see the improvement in the other girls who moved up with me & started at the beginning of term.

 

I just have to get the shoes broken in - they are really stiff & I won't be able to do anything else like echappes until they are. And it's no good, the excess weight has GOT to go!

 

One question though - if I carry on, I am going to put my big toes through my tights every single class - any suggestions?

 

Jane

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Jane - v quickly as too much going on today, but CONGRATS. :( I know you've been looking forward to this. :shrug:

 

And, BTW, I might be there this Sunday if you're around.

 

That said, don't know exactly what you mean by your big toe??? are you making holes?

 

Congrats again!!!

 

What a champagne moment!

 

Ami

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Thanks Ami!

 

No, I'm not around on Sunday I'm afraid (can't afford any more classes at the mo, unfortunately).

 

Yes, I did mean holes, sorry if that wasn't clear. My foot shape is that my big toe is longer than the others so even 10 minutes of very basic pointe nearly wore through my (brand new) tights, & the more I do, the worse it is likely to get!

 

Jane

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Well done Jane for making that big first step into pointe. It's great that it went so well, too, and that your feet are good.

 

As for holes in your tights, are your toenails short enough? If that's not the problem maybe you need to get a bit of lambswool or something to stop your toes rubbing too much on the inside of your shoe.

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Jane,

 

Too bad I won't be seeing you!

 

How tapered are your toes? I have fairly tapered toes, but have never worn a hole through my tights! Make sure your nails are short enough, and you may want to lightly tape across the top of your big toe nail. I do this, and then I use a big tip (jelly toe sock) on my big toe. It's different for everyone, what they like, etc... and will no doubt take a while to figure out what's best for you... but that's part of the process! :(

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Thanks for that. Yes, I did cut my toenails, but they still kind of stick up a bit. I could definitely try taping over them, but where do I get a jelly toe sock thing or lambswool? I am using ouch pouches but they don't seem to be doing a lot.

 

Jane

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You get lambswool from pharmacists - sometimes you need to go to an old fashioned chemist for it. Or you can play around with the kind of stuff you can get for feet - the 'Dr Scholl' collections. Often that's cheaper and just as good as the stuff you can get from dance shops.

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Congratulations!! I was on top of the world when I started pointe!!

 

Good luck and the pain lessens over time! :(

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Congrats!

I love hearing about adults achieving this. It is such a triumph.

Are you putting the ouch pouches under your tights and still getting holes or are they over the tights? I have seen the girls at my school putting convertible tights over the ouch pouch....

Just a thought.

 

Laschwen

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They are over my tights, unfortunately, because we only do pointe at the end of our syllabus class and there would not be time to take everything off to put them inside - & it would be really weird to do the whole class with ouch pouches in my flat shoes....

 

That's what happens when you get stuck with one-hour classes! I agree it would feel much better to do it the other way.

 

Jane

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Do you use convertible tight? Or do you cut slits in the bottoms and nail polish them? Your toenail might still rip up an ouchpouch too... but convertable tights are great, esp if you need to quickly fix something, tape something, etc!

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Well, I had my 2nd pointe lesson yesterday - with guest teacher, & ended up trying echappe releves - would have been OK except that my shoes nearly slipped off my heel & were still too stiff - but I'd cut my toenails even shorter & it didn't hurt anywhere near as much this week. She told me off for rolling my left foot out though, & I wasn't the only one to get that correction.

 

And my right big toe did end up laddering my tights - :D

 

And then - she told us to finish the class by doing waltz pas de basques across the floor into a reverence - gulp!

 

I thought "there's no way I can do that!" - especially as the line ahead of me, who hadn't yet been in the centre either, were really struggling with it & one was even doing it all on flat feet.

 

But I decided to give it a go - & ended up doing it properly! :( I really surprised myself.

 

I said to her afterwards that it was only my 2nd week on pointe & I hadn't been in the centre at all, & she said it was OK for me to do that exercise because it was not weight-bearing.

 

And then one of the other girls helped me to soften my shoes, & said I should use elastic as well, so maybe I'll do even better next week...

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Jane, Congrats on being on pointe!!! :wub::party::rolleyes: I remember I was soo excited when I got my first pointe shoes!

 

You definately need ribbons AND elastic on your shoes- no wonder they keep slipping off your heel. Your teacher did not tell you that?

 

And for your next pair of pointe shoes try to get a more tapered model if possible- you have tapered toes (I have too and I would die in the Glisses!) and the Glisses are a quite square shoe-no wonder all the pressure is on your big toe. Ouch! And it seems the fitter did not exactly know what he/she was doing by fitting a beginner with clearly tapered toes in the Glisse- a very square shoe with a 3/4 shank.

You will see in the right shoes pointework will be less painful for you and even more enjoyable.

 

Shulie

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I would really recommend getting covertible tights so that you can add/remove padding before pointe class.

 

It sounds to me like you might be slipping down into the box when on point. I used to do this when I wore my gaynors and pointe work was really sore all the time. I have narrow heels, tapered toes and wide metahersals too and I found it really hard to get shoes to fit too.

 

Good luck with the pointe classes, it does get easier!!

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Now I've laddered the tights, maybe I should just cut the toes out & make them convertible? You know, some of the other girls in the class wear footless tights & I never knew why 'til now - am I dumb or what? :-)

 

As for the Glisses, they were literally the only thing in the shop (except the Gaynors) that would even come close to staying on my (very) narrow heel, that is why I ended up with them.

 

I don't really know "how" tapered my toes are as I don't know what I am comparing myself to - the big toe is the longest, the next one a little shorter (not by a lot - but the difference is more on my left foot - maybe that is why I am only rolling over on that one?) and then the gradient is much steeper on the other 3 toes.

 

Does that description help?

 

(Oh - & what's the significance of a 3/4 shank? Is that why I feel my heels are falling over the back when I walk on flat in them? D'you mean they aren't all like that? The lady in the shop said that's how they were supposed to be.)

 

Jane

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